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Public Works Commissioner Eich hopes to bring fresh view to City Council

Keith Eich
Keith Eich is running for one of three open seats on the La Cañada Flintridge City Council in March, against incumbents Len Pieroni and Terry Walker, and former Planning Commissioner Rick Gunter.
(Courtesy of Keith Eich)

When Keith Eich first ran for a seat on the La Cañada Flintridge City Council in 2017, he was a thirty-something dad working for the online tech company LegalZoom who believed the city could benefit from a fresh perspective.

From the campaign trail, he suggested the city could partner with a company like Ring as a public safety effort to make video doorbell cameras more affordable — the city would go on to secure rebates for hundreds of residents.

When he learned he’d narrowly lost out to former Planning Commissioner Jon Curtis and longtime La Cañada incumbent Dave Spence, Eich gathered his campaign signs and stored them under the house. He had a feeling he might use them again someday.

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Now, three years later, a more experienced Eich is one of four candidates running for three seats in the March election.

The 40-year-old is up against incumbent candidates Len Pieroni and Terry Walker and former Planning Commissioner Rick Gunter but believes his skills and talents, and the experience he’s gained as chair of the city’s Public Works and Traffic Commission, lend to an even stronger candidacy.

“I took all the time I was spending outside the community and poured it into the community,” he said. “I’ve grown a lot.”

Eich — who grew up in Ohio and graduated in 2004 from Carnegie Mellon University with a master’s in engineering before earning his MBA from USC — was living in Sherman Oaks in 2009 and courting soon-to-be wife Lisa, who lived in San Gabriel.

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The couple met halfway, often in La Cañada, and over time became charmed by the town and its people.

“It was a safe, quiet community away from the hustle and bustle of the Valley or L.A., and we thought it would be a great place to raise our kids someday,” he recalled.

Years later, the couple moved into La Cañada’s Rancho neighborhood, where they’ve raised daughter Brooklyn, 8, 6-year-old Andrew and Chelsea, 3.

Eich is seeking election because he feels the council could use a young parent who lives in a different area of town. He’s focusing his campaign on quality-of-life issues, such as investing in the city’s utilities infrastructure, collaborating to solve traffic congestion and increasing law enforcement presence.

“No. 1 is the safety of our citizens. I’m in favor of increasing targeted patrols and working with our captain to make sure he has everything he needs to do his job,” he said.

His experience as a commissioner has given him a view of how the city functions and inspired some campaign ideas, including having the city sell a Montessori school in the Town Center to build up its reserve funding and finding a creative use for the new city hall’s still-vacant leasable space.

“Maybe we should have a little space for our sheriff’s department to be at City Hall,” he said. “I think there are some things we can do that would really benefit the community.”

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